This suburban family home opens up to its rural views at the rear, while materials and layout reflect an easy connection between indoors and out

Designed by Garry Mayne, Studio 4 Architects

From the building designer:

Project description/brief

This family home provided our owners with the perfect opportunity to create their dream home – located within a residential area with a rolling rural outlook in Timaru.

The key brief requirements were, for a modern entertainer's home, suited to a social lifestyle. 

The owners wanted a home that sits comfortably on the site, is functional with outdoor living spaces that connect with the views and can be used year-round. 

Another ask was for a central kitchen that acts as the heart of the home with access to outdoor areas on both sides of the house. 

Contrasting and striking low maintenance materials were also requested.

Design features and creative solution

With the brief in mind, our vision for this family home was to provide our homeowners with a private oasis that is open to the sun and surrounding environment. 

Plus, the design is thoughtful in the way that wraps the family into its different spaces both internally and externally.

The double-height living area features a raking ceiling with high-level windows situated to capture both morning and evening sunlight, while overhangs help mitigate the full effect of the midday sun. 

This combination of the volumetric space and the high-level windows sets up a lovely play of light and shadow across the interior throughout the day. 

The use of polished concrete floors and white walls references the juxtaposition of the exterior environment while also providing a setting for the owners' ever-evolving art collection.

Externally, this home creates a sense of arrival as you approach, revealing the full extent of the house. 

The owners still wanted to incorporate the traditional trappings of a family home – a yard to play in and room for a swimming pool – but they also wanted a high level of privacy to the outdoor spaces.

The evening terrace is centred around the outdoor wood fired pizza oven and is sheltered enough to feel cosy in the winter but open in the summer – and the terrace captures the evening sunsets.

The home’s understated material palette of plaster and locally sourced Timaru stone continues from the exterior to the interior and forms an immediate connection with the landscape. 

Having the house set back from the road and a mixture of plantings to the street boundary gives relief and greenery back to the built neighbourhood for many years to come.

This modern family home situated in a residential area with a rural outlook is a prime example of how considered architecture can deliver on the needs of a growing family within the confines of a sub-divided site.


Energy efficiency was addressed early within the design phase of the project. 

140mm thick walls, air to water in-slab heating system, a high level of thermal insulation detailed throughout, thermally broken aluminium and Low E Max glazing coupled with careful glazed opening placement are all sustainable heating/cooling-minded features.

In addition, roof overhangs and sun angles have all been considered in a passive solar design approach of harnessing and managing the sun's energy and energy storage in the thermal mass of the polished concrete floors.

Credit list

Building designer
Structural engineer
TM Consultants
Kitchen manufacturer
Barrett Joinery
Pool design
Custom design – in Firth concrete block
T Rib & Viking TPO membrane, from Metalcraft
Window/door joinery
APL Architectural Series
Internal – Escea Dl1100 gas fireplace; external – Warmington Nouveau 900
Shore Construction
Kitchen designer
Owner / Barrett Joinery
Interior architecture
Studio 4 Architects & Owner
Landscape architecture
Studio 4 Architects & Owner
Louvre system:
Main flooring
Polished concrete, by Perfect Polish
General heating
Inslab heating & ducted heat pump system
Trends International Design Awards (TIDA) Homes – Winner

Designed by: Studio 4 Architects

Story by: Trendsideas

Photography by: Dennis Radermacher, Lightforge Photography

04 Jun, 2023

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